Cambridge Labour flyers from the General election. Tensions arose between CULC and a former member at the Freshers' Fair earlier this weekLouis Ashworth

Cambridge Universities Labour Club (CULC) have issued a statement condemning the conduct of a former executive committee member, who was expelled from the club in June, at the CUSU Freshers’ Fair earlier this week.

Josh Jackson, who was on the stand for the newly-formed ‘Cambridge Momentum Society’ (MomSoc), “repeatedly made derogatory remarks about current members of CULC to students in attendance”, the comment to Varsity says.

Eyewitnesses told Varsity on Tuesday that Jackson advised fairgoers to avoid the CULC stand and that he referred to CULC stallholders as “deviants”.

The MomSoc stand at the Freshers’ Fair used the branding of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn political group Momentum. A Momentum spokesperson told Varsity that the Cambridge Momentum Society was not affiliated to the national organisation, nor had they made contact with them.

Jackson was removed from CULC and banned from its events in Easter term, after claims that he had made fake Facebook accounts to impersonate executive committee members and broken other elements of club policy.

CULC co-chairs Edward Parker Humphreys and Becca Martin said: “We have been made aware that an individual working on the Cambridge Momentum Society stand at the CUSU Freshers' Fair repeatedly made derogatory remarks about current members of CULC to students in attendance.” The co-chairs confirmed to Varsity that the individual in question was Jackson.  

CULC added that “the individual concerned had previously been expelled from CULC, following a vote at a general meeting of members in June 2017. This vote was taken after the individual concerned acted in a way which directly conflicted with our beliefs and was in violation of our constitution. We reject any suggestion that current members of CULC have acted in a manner that is contrary to our values of tolerance, diversity and respect.”

Josh Jackson campaigning for Labour as part of CULC in March this yearLouis Ashworth

Jackson’s removal took place at CULC’s Easter termly general meeting (TGM), in June, following events that occurred after the previous TGM, in March. A written statement to expel him, put forward by former co-chairs Rea Duxbury and Siyang Wei, said that Jackson had shown “completely unacceptable” behaviour, and was “likely to bring the Club into disrepute”.

CULC alleged that Jackson used “fake Facebook accounts of four executive committee members to fabricate messages” and that he “gained unauthorised access to the CULC email”.

It followed an incident in Lent term when a student, who was not a CULC member, claimed to Varsity that Jackson had told them to attend a TGM to stack the room so he could be elected to the position of chair. CULC members can vote at the TGM, which are open to all, to elect their committee for the coming term. At the time, CULC did not have a formal membership list, and could not easily verify who was allowed to vote. Jackson, who was speakers’ officer at the time, lost the vote for chair, lost a second vote to maintain his role as speakers’ officer, and then won election to the position of membership officer.

Asked to comment at the time, Jackson sent Varsity screenshots from Facebook, which he claimed showed CULC executive members conspiring to rig the elections at Lent’s TGM. In the screenshots, accounts with names and photos matching those of four CULC executive members appear to tell Jackson not to run for chair. Varsity has seen evidence which indicates that the accounts in the screenshots were faked, but cannot confirm who created them, or whether Jackson knew he was having conversations with fake accounts.

In an email to Duxbury and Wei in the aftermath of the Lent TGM, Jackson resigned. In comments in the email, Jackson also accused Duxbury and Wei, who are both BME, of “anti-black” racism and election rigging.

Jackson sent a statement of response to the Easter TGM, in which he said his removal was the “culmination of a personal vendetta had towards me as the only loyal Corbyn follower”. He said the written statement was “racist bullying”, and told members “I don’t want to be a member of your fruity club anyway.”

“I dare you. Pass this motion, do it,” Jackson’s statement said. “I promise you there’ll be a reckoning for this. No matter how long I live I’ll never forget this. I give you the most solemn guarantee I can that one day you will regret treating me like this. You could have left me alone, but no. I will be avenged.”

In testimony at the Easter TGM, Duxbury and Wei said that Jackson’s behaviour in the aftermath of Lent’s events was “disgusting”. Duxbury said they had “been through literal hell”, adding “the amount of threatening language we have received [from Jackson] has been incredible”. Another former executive member said there had been “harassment and bullying” of members by Jackson, and that his behaviour had “been terrible”.

They said that they had made a complaint to Jackson’s college, Queens’, and that a complaint about him regarding online impersonation had been logged with the police.

A motion brought by Dominik Young, now chair of MomSoc, at the Easter TGM called for the allegations against Jackson to be dropped, for CULC to apologise and to “censure the committee members who slandered and defamed [Jackson’s] good name”. Young’s motion was rejected, and Jackson was formally removed from CULC.

Jackson did not give a statement in response to CULC’s claims. In an almost 2000-word reply to a request for comment, MomSoc’s Committee said they “had an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response at the Freshers’ Fair”, and described Parker Humphreys as a “serial anti-Corbyn individual”.

They proceeded to say “we do not wish to make this a personal attack”, before describing Parker Humphreys as: “A man who is so sad and petty he takes the first opportunity to go whining to the press and social media that MomSoc said not nice things about him.”


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They said of Jackson, “The person in question ended their association with [CULC], Momentum is an entirely separate thing.”

They said: “The member in question was not the only one of our members on the stall, there were others at various shifts throughout the day. Once again there has been no concrete proof provided that it was the member in question who did this.

“If CULC can provide proof of these accusations then we will take action but so far they've presented nothing but slanderous bluster and racialised sophistry.”

Referring to Jackson’s statement to the Easter TGM, the MomSoc committee claimed: “it is quite clear that there’s nothing that constitutes a genuine threat”. They also said that they had used Momentum branding without permission because it is a “grassroots, members-led, organisation” of which they are members.

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